On Facebook Rob Williams asked me to respond to his 11 points regarding COVID-19 but in the spirit of transparency, I’d like him to answer a few things that he continues to claim. I'm also curious why he's chosen not to respond to these counterpoints despite several requests. Rob, I look forward to your answer to these questions. Your integrity and transparency depend upon it.

  • Who is your team of researchers? Names and background? Why should we trust what they (if there really is a they) and you are telling us? Why are they not listed on your Vermont Independent website under “About Us”? Why isn’t there an “About Us” link on your website? Kinda hard to trust anyone who doesn’t tell you who they are and how they feel they are qualified to advise. It seems hypocritical when you criticize “mainstream media” (many of whom you source too) for having agendas, lack of credibility, etc. Time for you to come clean.
  • Where’s the link to your crowdfunding campaign where you allegedly raised money to do this “research”? Couldn’t find anything on Indiegogo, GoFundMe or Kickstarter, except for this unsuccessful campaign for Vermont Independent in 12/2016. (kickstarter.com/projects/108159091/plan-v-the-story-of-the-2nd-vermont-republic?ref=discovery&term=Rob%20Williams%2C%20VT).

Here’s what I found from a cursory search relative to Rob's beliefs.

(Rob says) "The COVID catastrophism model proved dead wrong: UK Imperial College London’s Neal Ferguson created March 2020 catastrophic COVID modeling data used to justify near-global lockdown policies, modeling he admitted one week later was 2,400 percent over inflated. On May 16, the London Telegraph stated that “Neil Ferguson's Imperial model could be the most devastating software mistake of all time.”

(My Response) Though there is no question that the “Stay Safe, Stay Home” order has been difficult for some people and businesses, others have thrived. There are always silver linings. This catastrophe has actually helped policymakers (at least in VT) think about and take action towards systemic changes to problems such as what to do about the homeless population (they’ve been in motels in Burlington and they don’t want to throw them back on to the streets). This would not be possible without the lockdown. There have been numerous environmental benefits: “Pollution and greenhouse gas emissions have fallen across continents as countries try to contain the spread of the new coronavirus. Is this just a fleeting change or could it lead to longer-lasting falls in emissions?” www.bbc.com/future/article/20200326-covid-19-the-impact-of-coronavirus-on-the-environment.

Some people are reconnecting with their family, spending more time in nature, exercising and eating home-cooked meals. The list goes on. I don’t want to minimize the difficulty that some folks are facing, but I disagree that you think it’s not been worth the havoc. Most importantly, it’s kept the numbers of sick people and, therefore, deaths down and not overwhelmed the medical system in many places. The rest of my response to Rob's argument is in a google doc as it's too long for the newspaper.


Amy Todisco lives in Waitsfield, Vermont.